Nearly 50 years ago today, our country sought to prohibit racial discrimination in voting with the enactment of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Today should be a celebration of the end of an era plagued by voter suppression, yet regrettably that objective is far from being met.
While it’s true that poll taxes and literacy tests are something of the past, it is evident that our fundamental right to vote is still under attack. Voting days and hours are being shortened as the ballots of law-abiding citizens are continually tossed out for minor errors.
Ohio’s Republican-controlled legislature appears to be dead-set on implementing an agenda that suppresses the right to vote. Senate Bill 205, which makes it easier to throw-out absentee ballots, and Senate Bill 238, which shortens the early voting period, are just two examples of legislation passed this General Assembly that seek to silence the voices of Ohioans at the ballot box.
The success of democracy is dependent on voter participation and involvement in the legislative process, and I urge my fellow Ohioans to join me in carrying on the spirit of the 1965 Voting Rights Act by opposing legislation that threatens our right to vote. And make sure you vote by any means necessary!